Top 10 Quietest Spots in Paris
A top 10 list that I hold near and dear to my heart. Living in Paris there are days where the urge to drown oneself in peace and quiet is overwhelming.
When you reside in the very trendy districts such as Montmartre, le Marais, the Latin Quarter or old Bastille, even the simple task of walking two minutes to the corner store for some bananas can put you face to face with crowds of excited tourists.
My list of quiet escapes in Paris is something that is being perpetually refined as I learn more and more about the French capital. While many locals benefit from all of the spaces listed below, you’d be surprised to learn that equally as many visitors to Paris make use of them swell; it’s exhausting being a tourist!
The irony in sharing quiet spots is that they run risk of no longer being, well, quiet. Here we go anyway — if we see each other, let’s agree not to talk shall we?
1. Parc Monceau in Paris
35 Boulevard de Courcelles
When tourists have a limited amount of time to explore the city of Paris, the tendency is to flock to the major sites with well known names first.
It ensure that the tales of their travels will be recognizable to the general public when they return home and they will have ticked off bucket list items as opposed to unknown attractions.
Thanks to this mentality, the Parc Monceau remains a garden that could easily compete with sites like the Tuileries and Jardin du Luxembourg in terms of beauty, but is almost always void of masses of human life; making the Parc Monceau one of the quietest spots in all of Paris.
The park is one of the oldest in the city, created back in 1789. The influence of traditional English landscaping is evident from the park entrance through the grounds itself. Scattered through the thick greenery are curved pathways and impressive statues.
The Parc Monceau is exquisite. Take note of all the lily ponds and column ruins as you make your way through.
It helps that this park is situated quite far north of the city center, meaning one has to make an effort to get here. Visit during the week and you’ll likely enjoy hundreds of square meters to yourself. It is open from 7am to 9pm daily.
2. Cour d’Honneur in Paris
8 Rue de Montpensier
I usually would have not even bothered looking for a quiet escape spot in the 1st arrondissement as the whole idea of this seems a bit redundant. The 1st is undoubtably the most bustling and chaotic part of Paris.
Rather than me finding it, the Cour d’Honneur somewhat found me. Just across from the Louvre Museum one finds the Palais Royal. It’s an exquisite building built in 1629 that today houses different French ministries as well as the French National Library.
While visiting this site and finding great need for a moment of solace, I wandered out back as I was told I could have tea somewhere called Café Kitsune. To my absolute delight I found the Cour d’Honneur.
It is the inner courtyard of the Palais Royal and an absolute hidden sanctuary to say the least. The existence of this space in the old place isn’t advertised so not many people land up finding it.
Aside from being a peaceful haven, the architecture and design of the courtyard make it one of the most Instagram worthy attractions in Paris. This is now my go-to place after every free guided walking tour that runs through the city center.
3. Cité Florale in Paris
It didn’t take much convincing to get me onto the metro and headed toward the Floral City upon first hearing about it.
Nestled deep within the 13th arrondissement is a separate “mini arrondissement” formed in the shape of a perfect triangle. The Floral City is a collection of individual houses in a cluster-like setting, each with their own elaborate flower gardens in both the front and back.
All of the homes are covered in vines and greenery. All of the streets that make up this residential triangle are paved with plant life and are also named after different plants & flowers.
The Floral City is not something widely known amongst the tourists that come to Paris. It is an attraction that is held dear to the local of the city, particularly of the 13th arrondissement. Visitors who come here need to be respectful of the peace and quiet that is indicative to this part of town and make their way through the streets in a respectful manner.
Remember: people actually live here. Privacy is valued and important.
4. Square du Vert-Galant in Paris
15 Place du Pont Neuf
Often people are so concerned with the Notre Dame and being able to catch site of it, that all of the other attractions that exist on the Île de la Cité are overlooked.
If you were to make your way to the west-most point of the island you’d eventually come to the Pont Neuf, an exquisite bridge that connects the island to both the Left and Right Banks of Paris.
Jutting out from the bridge further into the water of the Seine is a tiny public park that was created in 1884 as a tribute to Henri IV.
The little park is both paved and covered in lush grass. Its triangular shape means it is almost entirely surrounded by the water of the Seine. Inside there are benches and ample space to picnic or simply laze around.
Most of the foot traffic on and off of this island happens further down near the Pont au Change and the Pont Notre Dame, leaving this far end considerably quiet and desolate even on weekends.
Even better, the square is open to the pubic 24 hours a day making it a great escape by both day and night.
5.1000 & 1 Signes in Paris
76 Rue de Charonne
This next quiet zone in Paris requires both your understanding and respect should you decide it is something you’d like to experience while in the city.
Across the world in major tourist hubs, silent cafes are taking over and the concept is vastly different to what you’d initially imagine. These aren’t just cafes in which one is required to keep quiet, they are cafes in which the individuals of our society who live in constant silence are able to find place and work.
1000 & 1 Signes is the first silent cafe in Paris. All of the staff within the cafe are 100% deaf and communicate solely through sign language.
Patrons to the restaurant are required to communicate through gestures, pointing or writing on the white boards provided.
The cafe was opened in 2011 and has seen tremendous success. It gives the deaf community opportunities in hospitality that weren’t previously available to them and it gives the hearing community opportunity to experience life on the other side.
If the concept weren’t cool enough, the cuisine is traditional Moroccan and absolutely delicious.
6. Promenade Plantée in Paris
1 Boulevard Poissonnière
When the streets of Paris get overwhelming, its time to move to the sky.
This is possible only in the 12th arrondissement, where 5km long abandoned railway line runs right through the center of the district. The Promenade Plantée is Paris’ rendition of the Chelsea High Line in New York City.
The railway is covered in plant life and acts as an alternative route through the arrondissement that runners, skaters and simply walkers can make use of at any time of day.
You can take the sky route all the way through to the Bastille, cutting out all of the street chaos looming below. The beauty is that because it is so high up, most people don’t even know it’s there. It is easily mistaken for an abandoned bridge or inaccessible structure.
Being so high up the noise of the city below is completely drowned out. You’re left with just your thoughts, some birds and the many species of plants & flowers that call the railway home.
7. Bibliothèque Mazarine in Paris
23 Quai de Conti
There is always bound to be at least one library on a list of quiet city escapes. While there are many beautiful libraries in the city of Paris, they don’t all value the “no talking” rule that is usually associated with these facilities.
The Mazarin Library is located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris and is one of the quietest I’ve been able to find. It is housed deep inside the Palace of the Institute of France on the Left Bank of the Seine, not far from the Pont Neuf that I mentioned a short while ago.
The Mazarine Library is the oldest public library in France and the collection of books dating back centuries is very impressive. You aren’t forced to read them, however, it is perfectly suitable for you to bring your own book or work to be done in the space.
The library has ample desk space for those who make their way in. I most enjoy how dimly lit the space is, relying solely on skylights and reading panels.
The library gets its name thanks to the secret vault that holds an ancient bible dating back to 1250, called the Bible Mazarin.
8. Saint-Séverin Church in Paris
3 Rue des Prêtres Saint-Séverin
After paying a visit to the very chaotic church of Notre Dame, one would leave the island on the Notre Dame bridge heading toward either the Left or Right Banks.
If you head onto the left you’ll pass directly by a very overlooked church in the city of Paris. The Church of Saint-Séverin was completed in the 15th century and is a Catholic space a fraction of the size of the Notre Dame.
The major church attractions in Paris, such as the Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur, have very relaxed rules when it comes to noise inside the space. Even during ceremonies, visitors are allowed to make their way around the church and chat amongst themselves.
Saint-Séverin is different in that it has yet to become saturated by tourist life and thus the church remains notable peaceful and calm, even when there are fellow visitors in the space.
You’ll be able to find a quiet corner in one of the pews in which to gather your thoughts or talk to the man upstairs if you so desire. Otherwise to simply sit and marvel at the beauty of the interior is a worthwhile experience as well.
9. Hôtel Particulier Montmartre in Paris
Pavillon D, 23 Avenue Junot
Time and time again this boutique hotel nestled in a quiet street in Montmartre comes up as one of the best escapes in all of Paris. Even foreign celebrities who visit the city agree, and make this their hotel of choice thanks to its intense privacy and tranquil setting.
The Hôtel Particulier is built into an old townhouse in the suburban area of Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement . Even the entrance to the property is hidden behind thick trees and overgrown shrubbery.
The public spaces at the Hôtel Particulier include the hotel bar and the on site restaurant. While everything is calm and somewhat private, the garden terrace is where you’ll find true silence.
This is found around the back end of the property where a few tables and chairs sit amongst the trees. You’ll impress whomever you bring into this space, but visiting along with a book or your laptop is highly recommended.
10. Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris
3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet
Yes, I’m fully aware of the wonderful cliche that is visiting a cemetery when in need of peace and quiet. No quieter spaces on the planet, I’m afraid.
Paris has many beautiful cemeteries that are open to the public year round. Out of all of them I find Montparnasse’s in the south to be the most well places and quiet of them all.
While Montmartre and Père Lachaise Cemetery are suitable as well, they do receive more foot traffic due to their more accessible location in relation to the city center. Montparnasse is further out and less prone to random wanderers.
As you move through the still rows of the cemetery residents keep a look out for Serge Gainsbourg and Mister Samuel Beckett who are both buried here.